By Kevin L. Nichols -The Social Engineer™
[November 2, 2015] OAKLAND. Last Wednesday, I attended a Fireside Chat featuring Essence Magazine founder, Ed Lewis at the Sharon Heights Country Club in Menlo Park hosted by Andreesen Horowitz. Ken Coleman, entreprenuer and tech giant, lead the candid yet intimate interview.
But before Ken asked Ed questions, billionaire, Ben Horowitz, introduced him. Apparently, Ken has also been influential in mentoring Ben from their HP days in the Valley. Recently, Ken and his lovely wife received a hall of fame award from Black Enterprise at its TechConnext Conference in Santa Clara. There, many of the panelists such as Lo Toney and Erik Moore, paid homage to Ken for his leadership, mentorship, and tutelage. I hope to be mentored by Ken one day myself.
During the interview, Ed talked about the irony that several Black men came together to start a women's magazine, how it got its name, how they added a jazz/music festival to its brand, and why they sold it to Time Warner. If you would like the detailed answers to these topics, I encourage you to pick up Ed Lewis's book The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women (I got my copy that night but he had to catch a flight so I was not able to get it signed).
The night ended on an ultra positive note, because I was able to meet the "Godfather of Tech", Roy Clay. Roy is probably most known for being a computer consultant for prospective investments in start up companies such as Tandem Computers, Compaq and Intel Corporation. He was also instrumental in the formation of HP's computer division and lead the group that created the 2116A computer in 1966 and its software. This was a magnificent moment in history where various tech giants were live and in-person, not in a book or on Wikipedia. I am most humble and grateful to be afforded opportunities like this to encourage and inspire underrepresented minorities/people of color to pursue careers in mathematics, science, and engineering.
Kevin L. Nichols is an entrepreneur, a legal technology, diversity, social media, and political consultant who resides in the Bay Area. He is a passionate community organizer and activist. Kevin is affectionately known as The Social Politician™ and The Social Engineer™ who is engineering a better life for the next generation, socially. For more information, please visit www.kevinlnichols.com.